Best Practice From Around the Globe
Women’s Golf – A Strategic Focus
Women are 49.5 % of the World population, in 2021, the number of women golfers grew to 25% of the golfing population., through a combination of women’s golf initiatives and the rise in popularity and awareness of golf through the COVID Pandemic.
Women’s Golf is a strategic focus throughout the Global Golf Community, from the R&A to individuals bringing groups of like minded women together to enjoy the Golf Experience. Click HERE to read the R&A playbook which outlines their investment strategy for amateur golf from 2023 to 2033.
Each project and initiative offers the opportunity to learn from both successes and failures and by creating a Best Practice Hub, where anyone engaged in golf, can contribute and access knowledge and learnings which can be adapted and adopted in their own environment.
Principles of The Best Practice Hub
Collaborating brings people together from different locations, backgrounds and experiences, to contribute their efforts and expertise to achieve a common goal. The common goal is to support the RandA’s strategic focus on Women’s Golf through building a collaborative group that comes together to share experiences, learn from each other through talking, debating and helping each other manage and overcome challenges, share and celebrate successes.
Best Practice can come from any one or any organisation, the aim of this hub is to remove barriers, embrace and learn from each others experience.
The Best Practice Hub is created with the intention of being helpful and its value will grow through the generosity and kindness of the community.
The purpose of a best practice community is to share explicit knowledge, which can be shared, adapted and adopted by individuals and organisations, who have the growth and evolution of women’s golf as part or all of their focus.
Through sharing knowledge, the collective wisdom of the community has the potential to grow and offer benefits to the wider golf and sport community.
The Pillars (foundations) of the Womens Golf Experience
When developing a strategy or plan for an organisation, identifying pillars, which are areas that form the foundations of success, by providing guidance and focus in specific areas, assisting in identifying and making decisions which impact the creation and delivery of a customer or in member’s experience.
When looking at the women’s (and other golfers) experience, there are specific areas which influence the golfers experience, irrespective of their age or ability, the initial pillars identified as part of developing phase 1 of this Best Practice Hub are:
Introduction to golf through a variety of channels and initiatives, at clubs, on and off the course, at driving ranges, individual and group studios located in towns and city centres, offering friendly, social, fun and family based routes in to learning and playing golf.
Creating hubs and networks to connect players within and across different areas and countries.
Develop pathways for different player categories from beginner through to competitive golfer, irrespective of age and ability.
Create opportunities and pathways based on golfers aspirations and interests, within and outside of the club environment.
Develop a range of playing opportunities for players of all ages and abilities based on the type of golf they participate in from club members to independent golfer :
- club members diary, including competitive and social opportunities for women, men, juniors and mixed fields
- open handicap qualifying competitive for non-club members, at individual clubs (including other club members and independent golfers)
- open social and fun formats for non-club members (including other club members and independent golfers)
- county, regional, national and international competitions for all ages, abilities and interests, (Individual Scratch, Handicap, Team and Social)
“If you can see it, you can be it!” Women and Girls heros to inspire the next generation of players, with more female coaches to nurture and develop them; more chances for the elite to compete and hone their skills. Developing performance pathways and playing opportunities to encourage and nourish players aspirations.
Golf Clubs memberships have evolved to suit different golfers needs, both at physical venues and online, with membership categories adapting to attract a range of golfers in to clubs, these include,
- fees per age range,
- flexible club membership (buy a block of credits to get limited access to the club/courses)
- virtual club memberships offering access to a range of competitions and multiple courses
Clubs have the opportunity to offer a range of memberships, based on the needs and budget of the individual or family golfer.
The World Handicap System provides players with the ability to gain a handicap without being a member of a specific golf club.
As the independent golfer community grow, clubs should consider creating events and playing opportunities for club members, both home and visiting, to play alongside independent golfers in handicap qualifying competitions.
Women in Leadership Positions
More women in leadership positions in golf organisations from National Governing Bodies to individual clubs, not-for-profit organisations and commercial organisations within the golf ecosystem.
The use of words can be instrumental in changing culture, for example in Golf Australia, they have created a Steering GROUP rather than a committee.
Golf associations around the World are replacing Ladies with “WOMEN” which, research shows,is more acceptable to younger and diverse groups.
Golf is competing with other sports to attract and retain golfers, how can individual clubs, counties, regions, national governing bodies and other golf not-for profit organisations and commercial entities within the golf eco system, come together with a common message to promote and support women and other minority groups within golf.
Promote golf as a first or second sport, that is 100% a sport for life, whatever age you first access it.
As Golf evolves, individuals, associations, organisations and governing bodies are developing strategies, implementing initiatives and adopting new approaches which they are making available online for others the opportunity to learn from, adapt and adopt their best practices, at a pace which works for their own organisation.